The only incredible thing about The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is the way it makes Steve Carell so thoroughly and irreparably unlikable. In a film about magic tricks, this is the most difficult feat of all.
Even when Carell is playing characters who are nerdy (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) or needy (Crazy, Stupid, Love) or clueless (TV's The Office) or just plain odd (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), there's usually an inherent decency that shines through and makes him seem relatable, vulnerable, human.
None of those qualities exists within Burt Wonderstone, a selfish and flashy Las Vegas magician who once ruled the Strip alongside his longtime friend and partner, Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi), but now finds his act has grown outdated and unpopular. Even within the confines of a comedy sketch, where he probably belongs, Burt would seem one-dimensional and underdeveloped with his hacky jokes and tacky clothes. Stretched out to feature length, the shtick becomes nearly unbearable - until of course, the movie doles out its obligatory comeuppance, followed by redemption, and goes all soft and nice. By then, it's too little, too late.
Burt Wonderstone has some scattered laughs, many of them courtesy of Jim Carrey as a gonzo, up-and-coming street performer with a taste for pain, clearly modeled after the Criss Angel style of stunt artistry.